Nothing hurts more than seeing your pet anxious. Just like in humans, anxiety is a normal and sometimes helpful emotion that serves the purpose of regulating the flight or fight response; it’s when anxiety becomes extreme or leaves harmful behaviors that intervention is needed. Read on to learn what is causing distress in your dog, how to determine if your dog is suffering, and some treatment options available to help improve your pet’s quality of life.
What Causes Anxiety in Dogs?
Just like in humans, anxiety in animals occurs for a variety of reasons. However, the three most common are:
Dogs with fear-related anxiety may experience triggers in the form of new noises, environments, people, etc. and react negatively to the unknown through barking, aggression, and other destructive behaviors. This can be especially true for dogs who have learned to associate new experiences with abuse, such as dogs who were used for inhumane breeding and fighting in their past. If your dog’s anxiety is not severe, something as simple as dog calming chews may be all that is needed to help them relax.
Separation anxiety is when a dog is unable to find comfort when they are left alone. Separation anxiety typically applies to dogs who are overly dependent or attached to their owners. A dog with separation anxiety will express undesirable behaviors when left alone such as urinating in the house, chewing up furniture, or barking for hours on end.
Some dogs develop anxiety as they age due to the loss of cognitive functions. Dogs who start to lose their sight, memory, and general awareness often develop anxiety in response to the confusion they are feeling.
Does my Dog Have Anxiety?
Some signs to watch for when determining if your dog is experiencing anxiety include:
● Inexplicable aggression
● Going to the bathroom inside the home
● Random Destructive Behavior
● Excessive Barking
If your dog expresses one or more of these symptoms after a particularly unusual event such as a vet trip or after a long day of play, you don’t need to worry. It is when these symptoms persist and worsen over time that action is necessary. Some of these symptoms, such as aggression, are more problematic than others, so it’s up to the owner to watch and access their animal’s behavior to determine when they need to make a change.
There are a variety of behavioral and medicinal treatments available to help ease your dog’s anxiety. For separation anxiety, is it recommended you take them for a walk or run before you leave so the dog is tired and sleeps while you’re out of the house. It is also a good idea to give your dog a stuffed toy to chew on or even an item of your clothing so they can smell you at all times.
One treatment that works for every kind of anxiety is CBD for dogs. CBD is a relatively new treatment for anxiety in humans and animals alike. CBD became popular in 2018 after the US Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp on a federal level. Derived from the hemp plant, CBD is known to help with a variety of conditions in humans such as:
While research on the specific effects CBD has on the human body is in the preliminary stages, studies show promising results.
CBD will not get your pet high but could have a tremendous impact on their anxiety. Evidence of this impact has not been backed by research, but anecdotal evidence shows a positive trend.
Dog owners have claimed CBD chews have helped their dog’s anxiety and have relieved pain in dogs with chronic illness associated with aging, such as arthritis. Most veterinarians don’t feel comfortable recommending this treatment for animals until scientific research is published. Therefore, you will need to decide whether or not to try CBD chews as your vet will most likely not recommend this product.
If you are in a hassle, especially when your vet may not recommend CBD (cannabidiol), let’s see how it can manage anxiety in your cherished pooch. The fact is, the response of both dogs and humans is similar to CBDs. CBD has always been a concern of research to the researchers, and they showed that once applied, it can produce anti-anxiety impacts, particularly on mammals that can treat anxiety and offensive responses.
As soon as CBD enters the body system, the ECS (endocannabinoid system) reconciles with it. It proves the similarity between the response of dogs and humans to CBD, as all mammals’ systems include ECS.
Though there present a lot of positive reviews that CBD works excellent in treating anxiety, there is no specific evidence of how CBD works to control such behavior. According to some studies, CBD excites 5-HT1A receptors in the central and peripheral nervous system of the brain and prevents the penetration of serotonin. As a result, the level of serotonin increases in the brain and controls anxiety.
Again, cannabidiol can enhance the signaling process of serotonin that has been proved to be very efficient in treating anxiety, stress, and fearful conditions.
Another theory says that when CBD gets into the body, it can boost the process of producing new brain cells in the hippocampus that is the prominent constituent of managing judgments and memories. When someone suffers from anxiety, the hippocampus of his brain becomes more diminutive, and as CBD can boost neurogenesis, it can be a powerful element for checking anxiety symptoms.
Despite having so many pieces of evidence, still, we don’t have sufficient backups on the application of CBD commodities for controlling nervousness and fear in canines. Still, people utilize them and get positive outcomes.
Apart from CBD chews, CBD oil and CBD capsule are the other two types of CBD based products you can use for your pup. Though CBD products work almost the same both for dogs and humans, dogs can be more sensitive to cannabinoids, and hence they may not tolerate the same dosages suitable for humans. If you are giving him CBD oil, the dose has to be smaller than human dosages and should contain only a few drops in a day. The best part is, CBD is a non-toxic and well-tolerated element. You can apply the oil directly to the tongue of your pooch or mix it with his food. As the oil is bitter, you may face struggles feeding it to him.
Here, CBD chews or treats may prove to be very beneficial. They are great if your dog shows nervousness, hyperactivity, discontentment, or stress in daily activities. Select an organic, hemp oil-based CBD chew that has well-balanced ingredients to promote the calmness and support maintaining the emotional balance of the pup.
Don’t fear thinking that these gummies can make your pup high. The hemp-based CBD treats are excellent for dogs. Hemp contains no or little (<0.3%) THC. No THC means your dog will never get high with such treats. Instead, as they contain cannabidiol, they, creating no psychoactive response in your dog, will treat the anxiety and maintain his normal activities. Moreover, CBD chews come in delicious flavors that your pup would love to have. So you don’t have to face trouble feeding the treats.
The best thing is, such products will only promote the calmness and boost the mental alertness of the pooch in any imminent danger. They will never change his personality. CBD chews are neither lethargic nor make your pup feel drowsy. When you treat your pup with CBD chews, it ensures that they can control the anxiety and get habituated with any environmental change more successfully.
You should follow proper dosages when you give your dog CBD chews to avoid any unwanted situation. Don’t forget to go through the instructions on the daily dosages of the company you are using the chews.
Though CBD is a well-tolerated element, it may sometimes cause some side effects in your dog, especially if you give overdose.
The side effects may include:
- May cause dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
- Change in sleeping patterns
The bottom line, you know your dog. You know if your dog’s level of anxiety is affecting their quality of life, and you will need to decide if treatment in the form of CBD is something you want to try. While research related to CBD is scarce, it is known to be safe for animals in large doses, and the risks are low compared to the relief it can bring to anxious animals. Some CBD gummies you can try with your dog include:
● Honest Paws Calming CBD Treats
● RXCBD CBD Dog Treats
● Hemp Fields Farm CBD-Rich Dog Treats
Trust yourself to know what your dog needs. Your dog’s anxiety may be mild enough that a simple change in their environment can correct the issue, however, if anxiety and destructive behavior persist, using a dog calming chew may bring your pet some relief.